By Jodie B. Owen, ncwildlife.org
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, along with NC B.A.S.S., Riley’s Catch, and Union Parks and Recreation, is seeking volunteers to help build artificial fish attractors at Cane Creek Park.
Volunteers are needed on March 25, 2017, from 9am to 3pm.
The fish attractors will be placed in Cane Creek Reservoir, which is located in Union County, as part of the upcoming NC Fishing Trail at Cane Creek Reservoir. Once completed, the fishing trail will teach anglers how to catch largemouth bass and other sport fish during different times of the year. It will be similar to the Oak Hollow Educational Fishing Trail, which the Commission opened last summer as a joint venture with NC B.A.S.S. and the City of High Point.
Like Oak Hollow Reservoir, Cane Creek Reservoir historically has had an above-average largemouth bass fishery, which makes it an ideal waterbody for a second educational fishing trail. Biologists surveyed the reservoir last year, collecting several fish over 8 pounds, which according to Lawrence Dorsey, a Commission fisheries biologist, indicates an excellent fishery rating.
“Crappie fishing at the lake is also good with high densities of fish with above average growth,” Dorsey added. “Many anglers who fish from the bank and fishing piers also target bluegills.”
Volunteers of all skill levels are needed to help with the fish attractors and Mark Fowlkes, the Commission’s Piedmont aquatic habitat coordinator, encourages youth to volunteer.
“Youth members of NC B.A.S.S. played a huge role in the creation of the Oak Hollow Educational Fishing Trail by helping us design, build and install the structures for each fishing site, using leftover materials from a previous Boy Scout fish attractor project,” said Fowlkes. “Likewise, youth from Riley’s Catch have helped design the Cane Creek Fishing Trail and will be there to help build and install structures. We are hoping also to get members of local high school and college fishing clubs and anyone else who wants to get this project in the water.”
Volunteers should bring work gloves, as well as food and drink for lunch. All tools and supplies will be provided.
Commission staff, NC B.A.S.S. and Riley’s Catch members will install the fish attractors into the 350-acre lake on April 7 and 8 and will mark the sites with buoys in May. The fishing trail should open to the public once the buoys are installed.
Funding for the structures is a joint effort among NC B.A.S.S. youth and adult members and the Commission. “We again are using leftover materials from a previous Boy Scout fish attractor project to build the structures,” Fowlkes said. “The NC B.A.S.S. youth members raised funds to purchase additional material and the Commission is using money from the Sport Fish Restoration Program to purchase the buoys.”
Cane Creek Park is located at 5213 Harkey Road, Waxhaw NC (Union County, south of Charlotte NC). Volunteers should meet at the Cane Creek Park maintenance area at 8:30am. Directions to the area are:
- Coming from Potter Road, pass the main entrance on left, and take the next driveway on left. The sign reads Maintenance Area. Follow the road straight into the maintenance area.
- Coming from Providence Road, turn right into the maintenance drive. If volunteers get to the main park entrance, they have gone too far.
For more information, contact Fowlkes at email@example.com or call 336.527.1547 (office) or 336.466.0541 (mobile)
A map of fish attractors across the state may be found at ncpaws.org/wrcmaps/WRCFishAttractors.htm.